1800 - 1899

History of Vaccines Blog


Broadside 1

June 16, 2010

The British Vaccination Act of 1898 provided a conscience clause to allow exemptions to mandatory smallpox vaccination. This clause gave rise to the term "conscientious objector," which later came to refer to those opposed to military service. Antivaccinationists in England, other parts of Europe, and the United States were active in publishing, speaking, and demonstrating about their objections to vaccination. This broadside from the National (British) Anti-Vaccination League objects to the use of cows for harvesting vaccine.

Smallpox in Indiana

June 16, 2010

A Muncie, Indiana, smallpox outbreak illustrated the effect of lower vaccination rates on the spread of disease. A local physician noted that vaccination there had been largely neglected since the last epidemic of smallpox in 1876. This photo shows the cover of an account of the Muncie epidemic.

Severe Case of Smallpox

June 16, 2010

A Muncie, Indiana, smallpox outbreak illustrated the effect of lower vaccination rates on the spread of disease. A local physician noted that vaccination there had been largely neglected since the last epidemic of smallpox in 1876. This girl survived a serious case of smallpox during the Muncie epidemic.

Smallpox Lesions 2

June 16, 2010

These heliotypes (an early photography technique) give a detailed view of the progression of smallpox, from just after eruption of pustules to the late scabbing stage. The publisher noted that the patient made a full recovery, though the extent of the patient's rash suggests that he was left with significant scarring.

Smallpox Vaccination

June 16, 2010

Smallpox in the Prussian Army

June 16, 2010

Abraham Lincoln

June 16, 2010

Hours after delivering the Gettysburg Address, President Abraham Lincoln suffered weakness, fever, and headache on the train back to Washington. Within a few days he developed widespread pustular lesions. Medical historians assert that Lincoln had smallpox, which sickened him for almost four weeks.

Vaccination During the Civil War

June 16, 2010

Dr. Robert Hicks, Director of the Mütter Museum and Historical Medical Library, plays the role of a Civil War medic and describes vaccination for smallpox during the war.

Other videos in this series: Civil War Medic; Treating Smallpox; Smallpox Hospitals in the Civil War (previous video).

Smallpox Hospitals in the Civil War

June 16, 2010

Dr. Robert Hicks, Director of the Mütter Museum and Historical Medical Library, plays the role of a Civil War medic and describes the smallpox hospitals where soldiers received care.

Other videos in this series: Civil War Medic; Treating Smallpox (previous video); Vaccination During the Civil War.

Treating Smallpox

June 16, 2010

Dr. Robert Hicks, Director of the Mütter Museum and Historical Medical Library, plays the role of a Civil War medic and describes treatment for smallpox during the war.

Other videos in this series: Civil War Medic (previous video); Smallpox Hospitals in the Civil War; Vaccination During the Civil War.